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Growth, feed efficiency, digestibility and nutrient distribution in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) fed two different fish meal qualities at three dietary levels of vegetable protein sources

Albrektsen, S., Mundheim, H., Aksnes, A.
Aquaculture 2006 v.261 no.2 pp. 626-640
Gadus morhua, cod (fish), marine fish, animal growth, feed intake, feed conversion, digestible protein, digestible energy, lipids, digestibility, body composition, muscle tissues, liver, chemical composition, feeds, animal source protein, fish meal, plant source protein, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, fish feeding, fish culture, mariculture
Atlantic cod were fed six diets where the ratio of protein from fish meal to vegetable protein were varied from 91%, 67% to 46%, respectively. The experimental groups were performed in triplicate in a 20 week growth trial, increasing fish weight from about 167 g to 690 g. The vegetable protein sources constituted full-fat soybean meal and corn gluten meal at a fixed ratio of 1:2, and replaced either a high quality fish meal (DCMink 92.3%) or a lower quality fish meal (DCMink 85.6%) in the diet. All diets were extruded and balanced to be equal in gross energy, crude protein, lipid, carbohydrate, lysine and phosphorus. No difference in growth (SGR 1%) was observed comparing the two fish meal qualities. However, feed intake was significantly higher (9%) and feed efficiency lower (10%) for lower quality fish meal compared to high quality fish meal. Protein and amino acid digestibility was significantly reduced in the lower quality fish meal, while unaffected by vegetable protein inclusion for both fish meal qualities. Protein utilization as measured by protein efficiency ratio and net protein value was not affected by fish meal inclusion, except in the diet using lower quality fish meal and high vegetable protein inclusion. Lipid and energy digestibility was significantly reduced by vegetable protein inclusion for both fish meals. The lower fish meal quality increased lipid deposition in the liver and affected slaughter quality of cod by increasing HSI and dressing out percentage at low and intermediate substitution levels. Muscle composition showed small dietary changes except for arginine, while liver fatty acid composition clearly reflected fatty acid profile of full-fat soya in the diets. Corn gluten meal and full-fat soybean meal (2:1) can replace approximately 50% of dietary protein without affecting feed intake, growth, protein digestibility or slaughter quality of cod when exchanging high quality fish meal. For the lower quality fish meal diets some lower inclusion of vegetable protein sources seem to be acceptable.